Filming location is Palm Springs Midcentury – DIRT
Despite myriad predictions that the salacious backstage that pervades the entirety of Olivia Wilde’s second directorial bid, “Don’t Worry Darling,” would surely derail its box office standing, the highly hyped dystopian thriller had a stellar opening weekend, grossing just over $19 million, about $2 million more than originally projected, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Response from critics has been mixed (while KKFI’s Russ Simmons calls it “an ambiguous, mind-bending exercise in paranoia,” says Keith Garlington of Keith at the Movies, “there’s a lot to like”), but One thing everyone seems to agree on is that “Don’t Worry Darling” is beautifully filmed, directed, and costumed, making it an absolutely delicious on-screen eye candy!
Shot against a striking backdrop of mid-century architecture and dusty desert landscapes with photography by Matthew Libatique and production design by Katie Byron, the film tells the story of Jack (Harry Styles) and Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh ), a beautiful married couple from the 1950s. who move to Victory, a planned company town where the employees of the mysterious Victory Corporation live. A suburban utopia with sprawling greenbelts, a clubhouse, a sparkling pool, and even an on-site boutique, Victory residents want nothing and have no reason to leave. In fact, they are instructed not to. As fellow local Bunny (Wilde) advised Alice in the trailer, “The only thing they ask of us is to stay here where it’s safe.”
Of the fictional community, set designer Katie Byron told Desert magazine, “I would describe the town of Victory as a hedonistic playground. This is not a tamed and controlled conservative suburban life. Victory is a spectacular place full of opulence. We were describing a secret society in America, so it doesn’t represent traditional 1950s America or its values. As such, the production team descended on Palm Springs, the longtime playground of Hollywood’s elite, to create their desert utopia. A land of ubiquitous sunshine, blue skies, and mid-century architecture galore, the area proved the quintessential backdrop for the dark storyline.
Highlighted local sites include Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra’s 1946 masterpiece of steel, aluminum, glass and stone, which represents the off-site residence of Victory Corporation founder Frank (Chris Pine) . The historic La Quinta Resort & Club appears as Victory’s community clubhouse and pool. And the Palm Springs Visitors Center, a former Enco gas station designed by Albert Frey in 1965, also makes a brief appearance.